Extreme couponing can change the world and the lives of the people in it. No, really! Just ask Lauren Puryear, an extreme couponer who has fed over 30,000 people with her savviness and desire to help others. The 29-year-old set a goal for herself this year: to feed 30,000 people before turning 30 this September. Puryear met that goal last week with six months left to spare.
Last year, she started a "small-scale" coupon project to deliver 5,000 meals to people living in the greater New Jersey, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. area. Using couponing and shopping in bulk, Puryear was able to see this effort through.
"After I couponed for 50 jars of Ragu sauce and 100 boxes of Barilla pasta all for free, I knew I was going to make a difference in the world," Puryear tells Scary Mommy.
In the United States, 43.1 million people live in poverty and 42.2 million Americans live in food-insecure households. Through her organization For Love of Others, Puryear makes a difference in the lives of those without homes, in shelters, and in human service programs with their day-to-day necessities. Volunteers affiliated with her organization can get in on the couponing action to make a difference as well.
"We were also providing meals for the everyday working American who is living at or below the poverty line," says Puryear. "I am starting a new initiative called Push Past Poverty, where I will aim to educate those in need on how to rise above the poverty line by utilizing community resources, coupons, and other tools."
Puryear's charitability is contagious, as her 6-year-old son volunteers with his mom to help those in need.
"He's really grown into such a little humanitarian," she says. "I hope he'll continue to help others throughout his life however he sees fit. He also learned how to coupon, which he loves."